Hugh Goldwin Riviere was born in Bromley, Kent, England on 1 January 1869. His father was the painter Briton Riviere (1840-1920). He studied art at the Royal Academy Schools in London and subsequently worked mainly as a portraitist.
He exhibited at the Fine Art Society, New Gallery, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Royal Academy, Ridley Art Club, and Royal Institute of Oil Painters in London; Manchester City Art Gallery; Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool; Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh; Royal Birmingham Society of Artists; and at Glasgow Institute of the Arts.
He was elected a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (RP) in 1900 and of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI) in 1907.
He lived in London and later in Midhurst, Kent, and died on 14 January 1956. Examples of his work are included in the permanent collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London; and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter, Devon.